Amancio D’Silva’s journey started in Parel. The son of an employee of Kohinoor Mills, he was the only brother in a family with five daughters, all of whom had names beginning with the letter A. He displayed an early talent for music, and that his interest was nurtured by an uncle named John Carvalho, who played in a band called the Highhatters.Carvalho helped D’Silva to learn how to play the banjo, though the boy later moved on to the guitar. His skills were sharpened when he joined the band at his school, Don Bosco’s in Matunga. Soon after, he was playing at Parsi weddings and at gymkhanas with the much-loved Nellie and Swing Band.
By his early twenties, he was touring with his own group, playing in Delhi, Nainital and Mussoorie. D’Silva probably sharpened his ear for Hindustani sounds when he, like many Goan jazz musicians of his age, worked in Hindi films studios by day, to supplement his income from jazz clubs. Among others, D’Silva worked with Laxmikant and Pyarelal.